Last night I had to tackle a tough issue in my novel. I won't say what that was, you'll have to wait for it to come out :) I have read books that tackle tough subjects in the past, anorexia, cutting, peer pressure, unwanted pregnancies, mugging, death and some I just can't put down because there has to be a happy ending and some I just can't finish because it's to repulsive. How do you know as a writer that you've gone too far with a particular subject? You just can't because everyone's view on "what's too far" is going to be different. My personal opinion is to keep it clean, instead of focusing on the act itself focus on what the characters are feeling during such a tough time. First and foremost, there are people out there that could have real life experience with such things and I'm sure they don't want to relive their experience through a book their reading. The purpose of writing about those tough subjects is only to tackle them head on and see how the characters recover from these things in hopes that you can inspire others to move forward with their issues or encourage them to take the next steps at the very least. Last night I literally had to stop writing several times and remind myself why I was writing this particular scene. Cringing with every tap of the keyboard, my heart was racing and even though I knew where the book would end, I was still screaming at the character. Just know that the ultimate goal when writing is that your audience will gain something positive from what they read in the end. But, I just can't avoid the tough issues. They really happen in real life so I will keep writing them in hopes that someone somewhere will relate and it will strengthen them. As readers or writers, whichever you are, what are your thoughts on the tough subjects in books such as the above?